Friday, March 1, 2024

Artur Beterbiev wants undisputed light-heavyweight championship fight with Dmitry Bivol next: ‘I need a fourth belt!’ -Dlight News

Artur Beterbiev will target Dmitry Bivol and the undisputed light-heavyweight world title next.

Beterbiev defended his unified WBC, IBF and WBO 175lb titles when he halted Callum Smith in seven rounds in Quebec City this weekend.

Bivol, the WBA champion, holds the only other major belt in the division and that is the fight Beterbiev wants next.

Beterbiev is an overwhelming force against Smith
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Beterbiev is an overwhelming force against Smith

“Yes, of course,” he said. “I need a fourth belt. It would mean a lot to me.

“It’s the top,” he added. “It would mean in this category I have done work.”

His promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum is confident Beterbiev vs Bivol can be made.

“It’s not done yet. But absolutely we want to do it,” he said.

It could take place in the summer, as Beterbiev will observe Ramadan first.

“Ramadan is coming. Ramadan ends some time in the middle of April so about three months after the end of Ramadan we’ll be ready to fight Bivol, probably in Riyadh,” Arum said.

‘An unstoppable force’

Beterbiev served another reminder of how destructive he can be against Smith.

“We had a couple strategies. We always have more than one,” Beterbiev said. “We need to be prepared for several strategies.

“He gave me a good fight. He stayed strong. He’s good. Thanks to him. But today, luck is on my side.”

But the performance made much more of a statement.

Artur Beterbiev remains the unified light-heavyweight world champion after defeat Callum Smith (Photos: Top Rank)
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Beterbiev has knocked out every professional opponent he’s faced (Photos: Top Rank)

Sky Sports commentator Andy Clarke rates Beterbiev as “the most efficient assassin in world boxing”.

“When he trains his sights on you, you are bang in trouble,” Clarke said.

“Callum Smith became the latest fighter to discover that and it was painful.

“It was that right hand high to the top of the head that started it. From that point onwards, he’s such a good finisher the writing was on the wall.

“20 fights, 20 wins, 20 knockouts, he truly is an unstoppable force.”

Sky Sports pundit Matthew Macklin emphasised the impact Beterbiev has made once again, especially with that showing against Smith, who was a world champion himself at super-middleweight.

“Once he had him rocking and rolling,” Macklin said. “There was no way he was going to let up after that.

“Had him down, he just got him straight back onto the ropes and Callum was trying to get a bit of a breather, get a bit of room, trying to land a land a left hook to fire back but he couldn’t.

“Beterbiev didn’t let him rest, constantly keeping him off balance, hurting him as well.

“Beterbiev, we knew he was the real deal anyway, but I think he’s more than the real deal. He is special.”

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